Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When Pools Aren’t Good Things

Nagging problems suck. Especially when they defy all of your efforts to solve them – repeatedly.

That would be the case with the “pools” I inadvertently created when I bricked the porch. I never even considered trying to remove the base and collar around each of the columns that support the porch overhang. I simply bricked up against them. (I freely admit I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I try to read about whatever I’m doing and then just keep trying until something works.)

That worked fine – except for the roughly 2-inch gap I created in a square around each column. (Directly surrounding the square of the base.) Even that’s not a problem until a good rain comes along. Then all of the water pools around the column, and I’m sure, slowly seeps underneath the surface of the rest of the bricks toward the edge of the porch. With winter coming, that’s a very bad thing. Housing that moisture underneath makes the bricks even more likely to pop out of place after an extended hard freeze.

I’ve known about this for a month or more now and I’ve tried to remedy it. Initially, I thought I could just go buy a new base. Columns are popular these days – both inside and out – so much so that Lowe’s and The Home Depot both carry them in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials. I didn’t anticipate that I would find them in aluminum (which is what our columns are). I thought I’d be more likely to locate PVC or wood. I did.

Unfortunately, they were either a) too small, b) the wrong style, c) sold only as a cap and base set (I need only the base) or d) all of the above. So I went online and started looking. I talked to a couple of different companies – one of which told me what I wanted to do wasn’t possible and even if it was, they wouldn’t just sell me the base. Other companies had just wood, and again, only as a set.

Then I thought I could buy some fancy composite trim and align it along the edges of the gap and successfully close it up. The first boards I bought were too thin. The second set was a good size, but they still didn’t close up the gap as I’d hoped they would. Buying bigger would look stupid.

Now what? On a whim, I went back online.

This time, I found a company that would sell me just the bases and in Colonial style. Made out of PVC, I think my most likely candidates are a 10- or 12-inch size, both of which the company has in stock. (I’m not sure yet because I haven’t measured. It was just too damned cold last night to do it.) The price was reasonable enough, too. Ideally, I should be able to cut one side of the base and lay it over the gap and around the column.

So, cross your fingers … I’m going to try to order them by tomorrow and I should have them before the end of the month. I’ll keep you posted.

5 comments:

MonkeyGirl said...

Pools are only a good thing when they require a regular dose of chlorine! Good luck with the soltion!

Jayne said...

Your plan sounds like it would work--but coming from me, another person who freely admits not knowing what I'm doing most of the time--I don't know how much stock I'd put in my opinion.

Karen Anne said...

Good luck.

I know zilch about this, but if I got truly desperate and couldn't find a solution before winter, I think I might fill those pools up with transparent caulk, assuming it adheres to brick. I'm not saying it would look good, just keep out the water until you could find a solution.

NV said...

Thanks, ladies!

I've got the needed measurements and I'm ordering the bases today.

Cross your fingers ...

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